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Sky’s the limit for Galway travel agency

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Clodagh Connolly...holiday value.

Galway people are on the move — with holiday bookings at one city-based travel agency, Corrib Travel, up by a whopping 50% this year.

To help cope with the demand, Corrib Travel have been on the move themselves, to bright modern new premises on Eyre Square – between Richardson’s and Fibber Magees – and have also doubled their staff.

The big demand this year among Galway holidaymakers is for more adventure-type breaks … especially in the value-for-money destinations in Asia and South America.

With security concerns having all but wiped out some of the most popular North African tourist trades, European destinations are getting more and more expensive.

But, according to Corrib Travel Manager, Clodagh Connolly, there is great value to be had for holidaymakers willing to go a little further afield.

“People are increasingly looking for holidays that are more than just beach breaks, and adventure holidays are becoming big business.

“The options are limitless — everything from safaris in Africa to climbing Kilimanjaro, visiting Machu Picchu in Peru, trekking, island hopping around Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and so on

“We’re seeing more and more Galway people looking for a holiday with a combination of beach, history and adventure.”

These are the kind of holidays becoming particularly popular with honeymooners and couples — with cruising, both in Europe and the Caribbean, also growing in popularity every year, she said.

One of the challenges facing travel agencies is to to make younger holidaymakers especially aware of the kind of services they provide, and the advantages they offer over online bookings.

“You set the parameters, give us your wish list for the kind of holiday you want, and we will find the flights, the accommodation, the perfect tour or activity, without all the hassle and the uncertainty of trying to do it online yourself.”

South America is a good example of a destination that’s difficult enough to do by yourself, according to Clodagh Connolly — and doing an independent itinerary yourself could end up costing you as much as 50% more than booking a tour.

“People might say ‘Oh I don’t want to go on a tour bus, sitting on a coach with a big crowd of other people’. But these tours are not like that, they cater for small numbers, you stay in people’s houses like B&Bs and get into the heart of the area you are travelling through.”

Clodagh also stresses the peace of mind which booking through a travel agent can bring: “We’re getting more people coming to us who’ve maybe been burned on the internet in the past, and didn’t get what they wanted or what they expected

“With us, on the other hand, we are part of the World Choice group which gives us access to holiday deals all over the world, we are bonded so everything is secure, and you have someone to contact at the end of the phone in the event of an unseen hitch while you’re away.”

Connacht Tribune

Job search is another language

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General Manager of Jobs.ie Chris Paye

Employers are coming up short in their efforts to find workers with ability to speak German, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian.

That’s according to the recruitment website, Jobs.ie, which has also found an increase in demand for roles requiring workers with ability to communicate in Portuguese, Polish, Norwegian, Korean and Chinese.

But General Manager of Jobs.ie Chris Paye said that the decline in CAO points for language courses could signal a poor uptake of course places and a shortage of skilled workers to fill these roles.

“In today’s competitive jobs market, an extra language competency can often be the key differentiator between you and another eligible candidate,” he said.

Of the total language roles posted on the Jobs.ie website since the beginning of 2019, 29% of those require workers with the ability to communicate in German, followed by French (22%), Dutch (13%), Italian (6%), and Spanish (6%).

A rise can be seen in the number of jobs requiring non-European languages, such as Korean (+2,050% on 2018) and Chinese (+40% on 2018).

Indeed, jobs requiring a foreign language competency made up almost 4% of total job postings on the site.

But the recent CAO results charted a decline in the points required for language courses, with UCD seeing points drop across its Modern Languages and Global Languages courses by 12 and 59 points respectively. Points for Applied Languages in UL also decreased, falling from 430 to 404.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Brexit impact on online shoppers

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CCPC chairperson Isolde Goggin: before you buy, check where the business is located and read the terms and conditions on the website.

Almost one in three Irish consumers has bought online from a UK-based retailer in the past two years – with 29% of consumers having done so more than ten times.

That’s according to research carried out to mark the start of a six-week public awareness campaign, aimed at preparing consumers for the potential impact of Brexit on their rights when they buy online from UK-based retailers.

The survey also found that 40% of consumers who bought online said they have returned items they purchased from a UK retailer.

And 71% of those who had made returns did so because the product did not fit or they changed their minds – the right to return in these circumstances is a right under EU consumer law.

One in four consumers said that, following Brexit, they will buy more from Irish companies either in-store or online

The research was published by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, tracking the experiences of consumers in Ireland who buy online from retailers based in the UK.

The CCPC’s research, which was carried out amongst 1,000 adults across the country, found that a significant majority (72%) of Irish consumers had bought online from a company based in the UK in the last two years.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

New hope for homeowners in mortgage arrears

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Paul Cunningham, CEO, Home For Life.

Over 1,100 Galway householders have mortgage arrears of two years or more, according to Central Bank figures – but there’s a glimmer of hope for them on the horizon.

Because figures also show that a state scheme has ensured a small number of those families – crippled by unsustainable mortgage arrears – have been able to stay in their own homes.

They have availed of the Government’s Mortgage to Rent scheme aims to keep homeowners with unsustainable debt in their current properties debt-free as long-term tenants of their local authority.

So far, 51 Mortgage to Rent cases have either been completed or are being actively progressed across the city and county, according to figures just released by The Housing Agency.

And a recent rise in eligibility values in the county to €395,000, combined with an increased appetite from lenders to work with the scheme, could see Mortgage to Rent engagements dramatically increase in the coming months.

Lenders and funds are now showing a greater willingness to use the Mortgage to Rent scheme as an alternative to repossessing family homes, according to a prominent mortgage expert.

“My experience since Home For Life began operating last year is that both lenders and funds want to find workable solutions to mortgage arrears once and for all,” said Paul Cunningham, CEO of Home For Life, the only Government-approved private Mortgage to Rent operator.

“This means they want to do a deal with families in trouble in Galway and move on.

“What we are witnessing here are changes which very much favour the Galway householder.

“The Government has shown it is interested in developing the scheme by widening the eligibility bands by €30,000 while banks and funds have made it clear they prefer to see a solution where the householder can stay in their home paying an income-based rent.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City  and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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